May 25, 2010

Zandvoort's Laurel & Hardy

If you have been to Zandvoort then you will probably have visited the Laurel & Hardy bar
down in the heart of the village. It is a wonderful place to sit, have a drink, order some food and admire the fantastic array of memorabilia from the lives and work of the 2 great comedians.

Owned and run by the ever jovial, smiling Ron Brouwers - a huge Laurel & Hardy fan - it is a place you cannot ignore. Often Ron will be behind the bar or in the kitchen of an evening and, in between working, enjoys chatting with customers, both regular and tourists.

When you first see Ron you have a double-take for he looks SO similar to Oliver Hardy! In fact, he does Oliver Hardy look-alike appearances. So if you have a photo shoot or ad campaign with a comedy connection, bear him in mind.

Last summer there was a food festival in the village centre and many traders and restaurant owners had their own marquee. Ron was there of course in an unmistakable Laurel and Hardy bar marquee and spent hour and after cooking for customers on a hot plate. Funny really, because the real Oliver Hardy also had a fondness for cooking! Here is a picture we took of Ron at last year's food fair - just like Oliver Hardy with spectacles!

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May 13, 2010

A Wealth Of History - Zandvoort's Unique Heritage

The history of Zandvoort is unique. The first mention of the place in historical records appears to have been in the early 14th century when it was referred to as Sandevoerde - a Dutch term that describes a fordable place amongst the dunes that could be waded through, connecting land and sea.

It was in 1722 that Zandvoort first began to develop economically, flourishing first as a fishing village then as a tourist resort. World War II was a dark time for Zandvoort but in post-war years a rebuilding programme was undertaken and it eventually re-established itself as a great place to visit and have fun - the Zandvoort we know so well today!

Its history divides into 4 sections and we have dedicated a web page to each one, as follows:

Zandvoort 1722-1825
Zandvoort 1825-1939
Zandvoort 1939-1945
Modern Zandvoort

If you are interested in European history at all, this is a must read!

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